Southern Culture And The Circumstances Of The War

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Southern culture and the circumstances of the war fostered an environment where military officials who could distinguish themselves, especially those with values that most coincided with the ideal southern man, were set up to become the mythologized figures that would eventually become central to southern history. Jackson and Lee, through their own skill sets and actions during the war, solidified their respective legacies as a martyr and a leader. In 1861, Jackson was promoted as brigadier general in the Army of Northern Virginia, where he began to distinguish himself in the following battles. He gained Lee’s trust and as a result, held a fair amount of control over command (Fredriksen). Jackson gained most of his fame during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862, where he employed his signature tactic of hard, forced marches that attempted to outwit the Union (“Robert E. Lee”). Jackson’s strategy was to “Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible” (“Stonewall Jackson”). He believed that despite having smaller numbers, the Confederacy could defeat the Union in battle if they act aggressive and communicate well (“Shenandoah Valley Campaign”). These tactics promoted him as the most well-regarded military general during the war. In the eyes of many southerners, he was their best hope of succeeding in battle, and his death at Chancellorsville in 1863 deeply hurt the morale of the Confederacy (Fredriksen). Lee, who was initially offered control of the Union
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